Skip to Main Content

If all goes as planned, Commander Scott Kelly will be back on Earth Tuesday, but his mission is far from over. After he lands in Kazakhstan, researchers are going to be swarming Kelly like biology students with their first lab rat.

A key goal of Kelly’s mission has been to identify the physiological and biochemical effects of prolonged space flight so NASA can figure out what crews might experience en route to Mars, which would be a 30-month mission. During his American-record-setting 340 consecutive days in orbit, Kelly has collected his blood and urine for scientists to analyze, and conducted experiments on his physiology, cognition, and more. But NASA isn’t done with him. Once he’s back, researchers will keep studying him to see whether a year in space has made him farsighted or stupid, among other things.


Here are some of the health effects that scientists will be monitoring Kelly for:

Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free!